I am lucky.
Photo: Left to right: Diana Sue Wellspring, friend Kim and Diana's wife, Gay.
After all the time I spent knocking around this country as a nurse and a technical writer, with stops in New York, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, Texas, and Hawaii, I have finally landed in a place I am pleased to call home. It is a bright green island in Puget Sound, a short ferry ride from Seattle and a shortish drive from Tacoma – Bainbridge Island, Washington. The trees form such a thick canopy that the sky all but disappears, and the water is dotted with every kind of boat from sailboats to cabin cruisers to submarines, and with every other kind of water craft from kayaks to paddle boards. Sometimes I just sit by the water and watch life float by.
I never thought I would retire to a place like this. What?! Retirement! Why, I never thought I would live long enough to retire. Just the very word made me break out in denial. I could never retire. I was too busy! So when my wife, Gay, and I downsized and packed up our lives, we were in for some major readjustments. We had to get used to a life with a lot less structure and external purpose. A life where our choices are governed more by desire than necessity.
But now that the government has seen fit to return some of the money I paid out all these years in the form of Social Security, I find myself being more amenable to the idea. It does not mean that life is over, by any means. Now I have the leisure to do the things I’ve been putting off for all these years – meditate, contemplate, write, and read, read, read.
I could not help noticing that so many of the lesbian stories and novels I’ve been reading all these years were aimed at women ages 16-30, with very little attention paid to women of more advanced age and experience. It’s not like we drop off the earth once we start getting a few wrinkles and some gray hair. To that end, I have finally finished the book I’ve been planning for many years – Lavender Dreams, published by Sapphire Books Publishing. This is a multigenerational story, with characters from newborn to ninety.
Here is a brief synopsis:
When Sarah Chase got on the ferry to Bainbridge Island, she left her lover, her job, and her past behind. She didn’t know that in the course of one day she would meet a woman who might be the girl of her dreams, change her career path, create a new family, and find herself in a fairytale mansion with two of the quirkiest little old ladies imaginable. She is there to take care of Grace Meadows, who is recovering from a broken hip, and it is supposed to be a short term gig until Grace can get around on her own. But Jen comes into Sarah’s life, and somehow that stretches the commitment until it turns out to be something life-changing for them all. There are a lot of secrets, both innocent and dark, hiding in the hearts of everyone at Lavender Meadows, a defunct bed and breakfast, which becomes a haven and care center for lesbians of all ages. It is also about forgiveness for ourselves and each other.
Since the book came out I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers who want to see more about Sarah, Jen, Grace, Marie, and the other characters who live at Lavender Meadows, and so I am now busy working on a sequel. I know it won’t be another as long until my next book comes out!
Enjoy! And thanks for reading!
Diana Sue Wellspring